Draft The Perfect Morning: Tips, Tricks, and Apps for the Best Morning Yet
We’ve all experienced it before. The alarm clock goes off for the tenth time and you continue to hit the snooze button. You finally wake up, groggy and angry, filled with bitterness and resentment at the world, your job, and life in general.
And that’s before your first cup of coffee.
Studies have shown that, in order to win at life, you need to win your morning. And with a little help from technology, mindfulness, and good food, you can start to take back your morning and your life.
In order to create the perfect morning, you need to start the night before. Make sure you actually get some fitful sleep in order to allow your body time to recharge and repair. If you need to use your e-reader in bed, make sure that your e-reader’s brightness is turned down to a manageable level. If a smartphone is the last thing in your hands before the pillow is, use settings that turn down (or completely off) the harmful blue levels of light. Services such as Apple’s Nightshift (found in the Settings app) or the Android app Twilight (free in the Play Store) help to replace the blue light with much more sleep-friendly yellow hues.
Once you’ve gained a fitful night of sleep, it’s time to wake up. And while for some of us a simple alarm clock will do the trick, waking up naturally is more effective at easing the wake up process and managing stress. That’s where an app like SleepCycle (free in both Apple and Android appstores) really shines. SleepCycle mimics the natural wake up process by easing you into waking up; a gradual alarm with easygoing sounds and music gently nudges you awake, training you to wake up at a certain time instead of simply cutting off your sleep with the deranged beeping of a normal alarm clock.
Now that you’re awake, continue the positive process with a little mindfulness. Your mind is just beginning to process everything that is going on around it, so before you check your emails or Facebook feed, begin your day with three positive affirmations. Filling the blank slate of your mind with positivity will only help to make the day a better one. Try phrases like “I promise to smile today”, “I am grateful for my friends and family”, and “I will appreciate having another day” as examples.
Positive affirmations not your thing? Not a problem. Apps like Sleepfulness (from Mindfulness Everywhere) and Meditation Studio (Gaiam) have meditation tracks that take the guesswork out of morning mindfulness. Guided meditations and talks about positive attitudes in the morning help to fill your mind with only positive things to take throughout your day.
You’ve filled your mind with good things, now its time your filled your body with the same. The importance of breakfast has been the subject of many studies, and the results are always the
same: neglecting breakfast is one of the worst things you can do to your productivity and mood. Having a healthy breakfast may take a little extra time out of your morning, but the good you will get out of it will last you all day long. Anything from eggs and toast to hearty granola or oatmeal will fill you up and give your body energy to power through your work. A good breakfast also assists with maintaining a healthy weight; having breakfast reduces your chances of snacking or eating junk food throughout your day.
Finally, remember that nothing you do will be effective if you don’t commit to it. Establishing a routine and then sticking to it greatly increase your chances of success, no matter what you do. So when it comes to winning your morning, become a creature of good habits. Your mind and body will thank you.